The Dancehall Icon Celebrates A Career Without Compare
With 22 years in the music industry, Carlton Errington Grant aka Spragga Benz, tours the world, on long journeys from his home in Dunkirk, Kingston, Jamaica. However, despite his worldwide success, the dancehall icon remains deeply rooted to his humble beginnings with LA Benz sound. This weekend, he will return home for his Bongo Bash at “LA Benz Corner” in Duhaney Park, Lessing Avenue, Kingston 20 on Saturday, May 31, 2014. Ricky Villa, owner of LA Benz, who has now passed on, encouraged Spragga to first enter the studio and this followed with a big break, when he voiced some dubs for Buju Banton. More After The Jump…
Ricky Villa (R.I.P) Talks w/ Rich Lowe About Spragga Benz Buss
Surrounding himself with positive persons also pursuing goals, pushed Spragga to be his best. These motivating forces along with his own personal drive and passion for music, heightened his local popularity.
Penthouse Crew Throwback Photo (Left to Right) Wayne Wonder, Paul Sebastian, Super Beagle, Frankie Sly, Buju Banton, Spragga Benz
His debut album, “Jack It Up” in 1994 landed him a deal with Capital Records. Follow up albums, “Uncommonly Smooth” and “Fully Loaded,” earned him huge crossover success, with songs from these albums on heavy rotation throughout the United States airwaves (despite being dropped from Capital Records). However, his leading role as “Wayne” in Cess Silvera’s “Shottas”, dubbed the “Jamaican Scarface” movie, made him an international household name. The 2002 crime drama, exposed gangster life from a Caribbean perspective. With the cast of Spragga Benz, Kymani Marley, Paul Campbell, Louie Rankin, Wyclef Jean and Jabba Mitchell, the film quickly gained a cult following around the globe.
Shottas – Now Available on DirecTV
In 2008, Spragga received three Caribbean Urban Music Awards but only four months later, he experienced the untimely death of his 17-year-old son, Carlton Grant Jr. aka “Carlyle,” who was shot and killed by local police in Kingston, Jamaica on August 23, 2008. After this life changing tragedy, he made musical dedications to his beloved son, including “Stays the Same” featuring Jazmine Sullivan and Stephen Marley, “Livication,” and “SWA (Sleep With Angels).”
Stays the Same- Spragga Benz featuring Jazmine Sullivan and Stephen Marley
These songs proved cathartic for Spragga, as well as giving back to youths in Jamaica through scholarships provided by the Carlyle Foundation, he started in 2009.
Continuing on his music journey, he created “Shotta Culture” in 2010, an album produced by world renowned producer, Salaam Remi. A follow up documentary was also filmed. In 2013, he released a mix tape entitled “Spragga Benz Mi Name,” a collaborative effort between Red Square Production (the independent label he owns with his manager, Roy Fearon aka Tugz Red Square) and Afrikan Vybz, a production company owned by DJ Mad Afrikan or “King Zing,” a New York City Premier Deejay.
Fast forward to Spring 2014, Spragga just finished touring with Stephen Marley, Wayne Marshall and Jo Mersa Marley on the Revelation Part 2, Fruit of Life Tour. Now the real “Bongo Nyah” heads home to Dunkirk, Kingston Jamaica to celebrate his 45th Earth Strong at “LA Benz Corner” with family, friends and fans.
Stephen Marley featuring Spragga Benz and Damian Marley -“ Bongo Nyah”
Don’t miss this celebration with Spragga Benz as he welcomes a new milestone in his life.
Spragga Benz Earth Strong Bash In New York City, 2007 w/ Merciless and Ghost
Benz Big Ups!
“Spragga is one of the most profound lyricists in dancehall and one of the rare artists who has been able to maintain relevance and career longevity from the 90’s through the 2000’s and up til now!”- Rob Kenner, Senior Editor, Complex Magazine
Rob Kenner and Spragga Benz at “Boomshots Reggae Mondays” at SOBs featuring Mighty Crown on April 15, 2013 (Photo Credit: Dominique Grant, www.thewickedesttime.com)
“Spragga is one of the coolest artiste I ever met. I’ve known him for over 15 years and he’s the same person now…Big Up Spragga Benz!” – Delly Ranx, Reggae Icon
Spragga Benz & Delly Ranx Take Over New York City w/ Federation Sound (video features Max Glazer (Federation Sound) and DJ Autograph(East Village Radio))
“I think Spragga is an exceptionally talented artiste, full of determination, who has the ability to rise above challenges, making him a class act with a crown of gold in reggae and dancehall.” –Lieutenant Stitchie, Living Legend
Spragga Benz –Livication
“I must say Spragga is one of our most talented artists. He is very professional, a great song writer and I guess I need not mention how much of a prolific hit maker he is, plus the man is good with the public. I can go on forever with my list of his talents, but that would take up the entire article. Much Love Spragga”-Lady Saw, Queen of the Dancehall
Spragga Benz and Lady Saw Performing “Backshot”
“Spragga Benz is a pioneer of dancehall culture and an inspiration for the young and old. This Jamaican icon has solidified a seat amongst the greats not only in reggae music but Hip Hop and Pop as well.” -General Steele, Smif N’ Wessun, Hip Hop Duo
Spragga Benz- Blaze Pon Them
“To observe the growth of a youth into a man is an incredible experience. Adversity opened his spirit, allowing his capacity to love and to lead to be strengthened. He developed into one of Dancehalls’ best lyricist and legend because of his commitment and discipline to his craft. I have mad love for this man. Shine bright always Carlton.”-Nadine Sutherland, Reggae Icon
Nadine Sutherland featuring Spragga Benz, “Please Me”
“Spragga is an amazing artist that I look up to; showing that one can be an artist and simultaneously an actor. The first time I met him was a positive and memorable experience for me. Spragga showed me respect in the studio and recognized my talent. For a person with such great success, he was very humble and kind. I am grateful to know him as a mentor and hope that we will always keep the musical and friendship link.”-Kranium, International Reggae Artist
Spragga Benz- “Tiny Tot”
“Spragga to me is the realest artist out there. He writes and sings about what he experiences and is a man of his word” -DJ Gio Chambers, Guardian Sound International
DJ Gio Chambers’ Wicked Spragga Benz Mix
“ Spragga is one of the coolest guys I’ve ever worked with for so many different reasons. First, I am flattered he chose to work with me, as I admire his work and he was willing to work with a lesser-known artist than himself. He is real and does things he believes in – A man of true heart. Spragga is intelligent, funny, charming, interesting and I love the way he thinks outside of the box. I knew he was beyond talented and had a generous big heart when I saw what he did with his rap interlude of “Wasting Away.” The song was produced by Marc JB from Bimbo Jones and is about wasting away time on an unrequited love; so many people have gone down that road. He added a real party flavor to the song and it just showed his versatility as an artist. I learned a lot from working with him. ”-Victoria Aikten, British Pop artist
Victoria Aikten featuring Spragga Benz- “Wasting Away”
“ I think Spragga Benz is the most versatile talent around. He has an unmatched wittiness about him that is unrivaled. This allows him to displace honesty and authenticity in his approach to his craft. His integrity shines whether its in his acting or music. He always represents the truth.” –Cess Silvera, Writer and Director
As an occasional viewer and listener to the Jamaican sounds and culture
I was blown away with the depth and intellect that was gain from this article,and although I came away wanting more as to what really happen to Spragga’s son, the music and talent is unmistakable Spragga.
It must be nice to be a dream performer, and then have a dream writer collaborate on one accord, now if only I could understand more of what the musicians are saying, but that’s on me.
one love to the performing artist Spragga, and the performing writer
All The Best Spragga
Thanks for putting this together. A great collection and selection of the works of a great artist.